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Windows 7: "Unsaved theme" issue in Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

30 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
"Unsaved theme" issue in Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

I've Googled this problem and found many people with the same issue, but I haven't found a working solution.

When I save a theme in Windows 7, another one is immediately created called "Unsaved Theme". This would usually happen if you make changes to a theme, but that's not what I'm doing. For example, I save my theme as "My Theme" and immediately a second theme is created called "Unsaved Theme". If I save that theme as "My Theme 2", yet another theme is immediately created called "Unsaved Theme" and so on.

I have tried deleting themes direct from the Local and Roaming folders, but the unsaved themes just keep reappearing. I have ran the System File Checker, but no problems were found. I have tried using a file comparison program to compare the code in my saved theme and the "Unsaved Theme" as another site said that third party programs may be modifying my theme, but aside from the theme's name, the code is identical. I have tried deleting the TranscodedWallpaper.jpg file from the relevant directory, but it's just recreated and the problem returns.

Does anyone know how I can fix this?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2012   #2
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10 Home x64

I'm assuming you followed the instructions HERE? There is usually a difference, for me I use CursorFX. If you are sure you are seeing no differences but the name, it is a puzzler. I'm assuming you know when any parameter is changed, including desktop wallpaper,any personalization settings at all, the Unsaved theme is created. You can try a Clean Start to see if it is a 3rd party program causing this, but I suspect you might never track down just what small change is causing this.

Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup

A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

I think I've found the solution after a few years experiencing this problem. It keeps reverting back to Unsaved Theme(WITHOUT WALLPAPER SLIDESHOW). Usually occurs after:
1. I plug out the battery, or
2. reboot, or
3. hibernate, or
4. opening Aero incompatible software(such as Digi Broadband), or
5. sometimes let the laptop opened for too long (>12 hours non stop)
6. no reason, suddenly slideshow is disabled(sometimes while I'm watching movies)

I tried creating a theme named "Unsaved Theme" to prevent windows to make its own theme. No success.
I don't want to uninstall any of my favorite programs. The main reason we buy a laptop is to install programs, right?
I've tried deleting slideshow.ini & TranscodedWallpaper.jpg. No success.
I tried enable slideshow on battery and on plugged in (power plan). No success.
I don't want to create new account every time this thing happens. I prefer my OWN Account for eternity.
I also don't want to upgrade Windows every times it happens...
I don't want to compare registry files, windows can change these registry whenever it likes, thus not very practical.

Windows keeps creating its own theme file named Custom.theme and emptying the file slideshow.ini.
The trick is to lock these 2 files but allow windows to access it.

1. Create your theme(setting up all appearances, images, screensaver, font, color, slideshow setting, whatever..),
then name it (e.g.: MyTheme)
Make sure it works on the background before proceed. (use 10 seconds delay to ensure that it works)

2. Go to %localAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes

We only concern about these 2 files:
1. MyTheme.theme
2. Custom.theme

If there is no Custom.theme, duplicate MyTheme.theme then rename it to Custom.theme.
(In my case, I let Windows do her things in creating the unwanted "Unsaved Theme", so annoying)

use Beyond Compare(or other comparing softwares) between these 2 files:
copy all content from MyTheme.theme --> Custom.theme
MyTheme.theme | Custom.theme
DisplayName=MyTheme | DisplayName=Unsaved Theme

Make sure both of the themes contain something similar to these:

Then, save both files.

THEN THE IMPORTANT PART, change Custom.theme ---> Read only (in properties menu)

3. Go to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes

You will find these 2 files:

slideshow.ini-I think where the slideshow data is stored, who knows
TranscodedWallpaper.jpg-current image being displayed on the background

try open the slideshow.ini, it should contain some gibberish characters e.g:

If it's empty, then your slideshow maybe already disabled.

THEN THE IMPORTANT PART, change ONLY slideshow.ini ---> read only (in properties menu)
[don't touch the TranscodedWallpaper.jpg. Just let it be]

4. Then you're ready to enjoy wallpaper slideshow without having to worry about it.

Hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Sep 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Thank you Hakibam

I searched all over for a solution to this and nothing worked. I'm glad you gave that fix, I believe you finally solved it for me. Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

You coul just simply patch the theme - or copy and paste the two folder .theme -the appdata is a temporary folder and if you using ccleaner or a script like i do then you will delete all the saving theme on it. Go and paste the theme into : "C:\Windows\resources\Themes",and will work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2014   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


I had the same problem and I'm surprised no one actually found the solution which is very easy and worked for me like a charm.

We are in state that we have Unsaved Theme, and Our Own Theme which we want. It doesnt matter you delete Unsaved Theme and start using OurOwn because Unsaved is recreated soon.

So to fix this issue:
1. Delete Unsaved Theme
2. Right Click on OwnTheme and click Save Theme
3. Copy of OwnTheme is created, rename it and start using it.

You are done. Tested works for three days now. I logged into this forum just to let you now. Hope it helps someone.

Have a nice day!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2017   #7


click two three times on unsaved themes, desktop back ground may go black and unsaved them too, now right click on it and delete
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2017   #8
pete barnes

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

I think the answers here are overcomplicating the issue. The "unsaved theme" never disappears, it is simply a convenient "icon" or "button" to allow you to **permanently** save changes you may have made to the currently running theme using, say, the Advanced Windows Color and Appearance dialog, or to save the current theme under a different name even if the current one is unchanged, without affecting the currently-running theme. And note that whatever theme you are currently running, whether a custom theme or a built-in basic theme, shows up similarly as a slightly modified graphic in the display of themes, this is to specifically show you which of the available thermes is the currenly running theme.

My experience has been that you can make such changes and apply them to the currently running theme, but the changes will not persist if you power down your PC after such modifications IOW "applying" is not the same as "permanently saving" changes. You will note that there is no way to re-save, under that same theme name, the currently running theme to include whatever mods you have made, all you can do is right-click on it to >>>delete<<< it from your saved themes.

I may be wrong, but I think this is the way it works. You will notice, for example, that there is no way you can modify and save, as replacements, any of the Basic and High-contrast themes that comes with Windows, all you can do is select one of those built-in themes to be the current running theme and then modify it or save it under a different name as your own theme.

Pete B
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2017   #9
pete barnes

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

If any still doubt what I posted about the "non-existence" of an actual "unsaved theme" you need only open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Users\%YOURUSERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes and you will find a folder with the detailed list of all of your custom themes. Note that there is no such "unsaved theme" in the list. Like I said, that item is actually just a Win form control with a very fancy graphic image, for which I am sure the control's Click event code contains the routines to open and save your changes as a new custom theme.

Pete B
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 "Unsaved theme" issue in Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

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